Don’t Fake It

Have you ever had someone tell you, “Fake it until you make it”? In other words, you may not feel happy, but just start smiling and soon you will feel happy. Sadly, I’ve heard this type of so-called wisdom given by Christians to other Christians:

  • Don’t let anyone know that you feel scared, doubtful, angry, etc.
  • Never let ‘em see you sweat.
  • Even if you’re down, put on a happy face.

Turns out that this is not only bad advice, but harmful advice too. A recently study by Michigan State University found:

Pretending to smile when you’re feeling bad makes you feel worse and be less productive. …[You] can’t just fake a smile and expect to feel good about it or negative feelings intensify.

(You can read the full report here.)

If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, you should never fake it. Take a quick glance through the psalms and you’ll see raw, real emotions: anger … depression … anxiety … vengeance … sadness … envy … spite …

Here’s the deal: You may wear a {fake} smile on the outside, but God knows the {real} emotions in your heart. You’re not fooling Him. And, as it’s been revealed in this study, you’re not fooling anyone else either.

So go ahead and vent those negative emotions when you’re alone with God. Tell Him how you really feel (He already knows, but it’s good for you to hear you say it). And then let the Holy Spirit show you how to deal with those emotions in a healthy way.

Don’t bottle it up—don’t fake-it-until-you-make-it—be real and let God heal you.

3 Responses to “Don’t Fake It”

  1. iamSchram Says:

    Very nice post!

    I thought it was funny what someone on the Mlive site wrote
    “then is faking a frown good for you?” =P


  2. Frank Pray Says:

    You are suggesting a level of honesty that goes to the core of the relationship between God and me, and between me and my friends. Your reference to Psalms evoked my memory of Psalm 139: David says, (paraphrasing) “God you know me inside and out, nothing is hidden.”

    God knows my innermost heart already, far better than I know it. Often I am out of touch with my own feelings. Sometimes feelings of guilt, shame, or false pride pre-empt the deeper feelings of hurt, sorrow, hope, fear or joy.

    At 139:23-24 David asks God to reveal to him whatever stands in the way of an honest, healthy relationship. Then, in the last verse, he asks God to do what David probably could not do for himself: find “the way to everlasting life.”

    That is my prayer too.


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